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Mass Debates 2 and 3

With the intensity of the Australian election and other committments I have only fleetingly watched parts of Friday night's presidential Mass Debate II and Wednesday night's Mass Debate III, which ended about ninety minutes ago. Bush had clearly improved on his horrendous performance in MD1, even make a joke about scowling during MD2.

The fact that these Mass Debates involved only the two leading candidates has been a bit of a running sore, and in St Louis before MD2 there was a demonstration at which two of the second-tier candidates, David Cobb of the Green Party and Michael Badnarik of the Libertarians, were in fact arrested! More about this, and more about the minor candidates when I write up my presidential endorsement a bit later.

For Mass Debate II took place in a sanitised "Town Hall" environment, which means GWB and JFK stood and walked around a circular stage in the middle of a sanitised audience answering sanitised questions from sanitised audience members, and having the occasional unsanitary argument with each other. MD3 was back to the lectern and moderated by CBS' Bob Schieffer, who appears to have been handling such occasions since Lincoln/Douglas in 1860.

The Washington Post has the transcript and video of Mass Debate 2. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann did a live blog, as did Rahul Mahajan.

I'll use the same sources for a good encapsulation of Mass Debate 3: Washington Post's video is in HTML hell as I write this, but hopefully will be fixed shortly. They have the transcript. Keith Olbermann, such a legend from his ESPN Sportscenter days, has transformed into Bloggerman and debuted his new title in his Mass Debate 3 live blog, and Rahul has been in action as well.

Of greater relevance to most American voters tonight is the fact that St Louis beat Houston 10-7 in game one of the NLCS, while the Yankees beat Boston 3-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the ALCS. Come on the Cards!